Cricket school adds two new greats

Ashton Turner, Mickey Arthur & Jim Allenby three cricketing greats with links to Christ Church Grammar School
Ashton Turner, Mickey Arthur & Jim Allenby three cricketing greats with links to Christ Church Grammar School

Earlier this year, 2010 graduate Ashton Turner made his first-class debut in a tour match against Sussex just before the school confirmed it had appointed former Australian national cricket team coach Mickey Arthur as the director of cricket.

The pair join the school’s legacy, which is also shared by 1999 graduate Jim Allenby who plays for Glamorgan County Cricket Club in England, and former Australian cricketer Stuart MacGill.

Allenby said bringing in coaches like Arthur and having ex-students like Turner going on to play cricket had made a huge difference to how the sport was regarded at the school.

‘The main difference now is the profile of cricket at the school from when I was in Year 8; (it’s) been lifted a huge amount and the facilities have got better pretty much every year,’ Allenby said.

‘I know when I started here it was an important sport but nothing like it is now.

‘We had MacGill who we could look up to and that was probably it, but now there’s a bit more going on.’

Turner, who coaches students at the school twice a week, said playing cricket had been the pinnacle of school sport for him.

‘I think any cricket you play helps you and gives you experience you can pull up on in the future, so I definitely learned a lot of good lessons,’ Turner said.

‘It’s such a long game, you make such good friends. If you play a game of footy you’re over in an hour and don’t really get to talk to them, but in cricket you’re around all Saturdays. It’s very unique in that sense.’

Arthur said he had enjoyed every minute in his new role at the school and encouraged others to enjoy the success of the game with mates.

‘It’s fantastic. I think the boys are so keen and they’re working really hard. There’s some nice talent at this school, which is great,’ Arthur said.

‘You’ve got to stand out on a Saturday in 35C. If you’re not enjoying it it becomes a long day, so really enjoy it and have fun.’